Arights group under the aegis of Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has opposed the proposed tuition fee increment at the University of Ibadan.
The group called for an immediate reversal.
The group in a statement issued on Friday through its Oyo State Coordinator, Ben Taffee, called on the leadership of the Students’ Union to immediately mobilise for an effective resistance with an appeal to workers’ unions and left organisations for solidarity.
Titled “UI: ERC condemns the proposed fees hike and demands immediate reversal,” the rights group said its attention had been drawn to the news of the proposed hike in school fees for the 2022/2023 academic session by the Prof. Kayode Adebowale-led administration.
ERC said under the approved increment, returning students are expected to pay between N121,000 and N173,850, while new students will pay between N213,500 and N318,000.
“The proposed fee hike does not include a levy for field trips, teaching practice, and other professional levies which are mandatory for students depending on the course of study,” the ERC stated.
While condemning the fee hike, ERC stated that the increment of school fees coming at a time when the mass of the Nigerian working people are still struggling to cope with the adverse effects of socio-economic dislocations occasioned by over N200 hike in the price of petrol and devaluation of Naira by President Bola Tinubu is inhuman.
The ERC also said the hike shows that the administration of the university is highly insensitive to the plight and suffering of the Nigerian poor working people, who constitute the majority of the parents of students of the school.
Without the devastating economic crisis that Nigerians are going through at this present time, ERC said it does not see any justification for a new hike in fees.
It said, “According to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, public education is a social service. It is meant to be free and adequately funded by the government, not students or their poor parents. Besides, as far as we are concerned the previous fee hikes have not translated into any significant improvement in the learning and living conditions of the mass of students of the university. Instead, the condition has gone from bad to worse.
“Again, the proposed fee hike is a flagrant violation of the recent directive by the Federal Government, FG, that forbids the administration of any of the federal universities in the country to effect any form of fee hike. It has also exposed the deceit in FG’s claim that the savings from the so-called subsidy removal shall be invested in social services like education.
“Except this proposed fee hike is resisted and defeated, it will not only increase the hardships mass of the Nigerians are going through at this present time but also force many of the students currently in the university to drop out.
“It is in light of this background, ERC demands an immediate reversal of the proposed fee hikes while calling on Tobiloba-led Students’ Union to commence the process of a mass mobilisation of students in the university towards building resistance to prevail on the Adebowale-led university administration to drop the intention to hike the school fee.
“The ERC also calls on the SU leadership to immediately convene a mass meeting of students to commence discussion as to how to build such resistance against the proposed fee hike. This must also include an effort make an appeal for solidarity and support of the workers unions which include ASUU, SSANU, NAAT and NASU as well as civil society organisations within and outside the University.”